October 30, 2016: As a part of ‘SIMBEX-16’, the ongoing Bilateral Naval Exercise between Navies of the Republic of Singapore and India, RSS Formidable, of Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) arrived Visakhapatnam on a five-day visit to the Eastern Naval Command today, 30 October 16. Commanded by Lieutenant Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, RSS Formidable is the first of the six multi-role stealth frigates which forms part of the 185 Squadron based at Changi. A senior Singapore Navy delegation headed by Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer, 185 Squadron, RSN is also visiting ENC during the period.
The visit will encompass interaction between personnel of both the Navies in various professional, cultural, social and sports events. Colonel Aaron Beng, Commanding Officer, 185 Squadron, RSN and Lieutenant Colonel Khoo Aik Leong Albert, Commanding Officer RSS Formidable will call-on Vice Admiral HCS Bisht, Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief ENC and Rear Admiral B Dasgupta, Flag Officer Commanding Eastern Fleet.
SIMBEX is an acronym for ‘Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises’. Bilateral cooperation between Singapore and India was first formalized when RSN ships began training with the Indian Navy in 1994. This year’s edition of SIMBEX-16 being held in the Bay of Bengal region would be the 23rd in the series and is aimed to increase interoperability amongst the RSN and IN as well as develop common understanding and procedures for maritime security operations. The scope this exercise includes wide-ranging professional interactions during the Harbour Phase scheduled from 31 October to 02 November and a diverse range of operational activities at sea during the Sea Phase to be held from 03 to 05 November. The thrust of exercises at sea this year would be on Anti-Submarine Warfare (ASW), Integrated operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises.
During SIMBEX-16, the Singapore Navy is represented by RSS Formidable and Maritime Patrol Aircraft Fokker 50 operating from Port Blair. Indian Navy will be represented by INS Ranvijay a guided missile destroyer, INS Kamorta, an indigenous ASW stealth Corvette, one Sindhugosh class submarine, in addition to Long Range Maritime Patrol Aircraft P8I, Maritime Patrol Aircraft Dornier, Advanced Jet Trainer Hawk and integral rotary wing helicopters are also scheduled to participate in the exercise.
The two navies share a long standing relationship with regular professional interactions that include exchange programs, staff talks and training courses. Singapore Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Lai Chung Han had earlier visited ENC and participated in IFR-16 held in February this year in the City of Destiny. RSS Formidable is scheduled to depart Visakhapatnam on Thursday, 03 November.
Photo Credit: PRO (Navy)